[R] Error loading packages at sprintf()

Andrew J. Rominger rominger at stanford.edu
Tue Mar 3 06:10:23 CET 2009

Hello all,

I'm running R2.8.1 on a Mac OS 10.4.11.  While trying to install the package gdata, I was presented with the following (error at end of report):

R > install.packages("gdata")
also installing the dependency ‘gtools’

trying URL 'http://cran.stat.ucla.edu/bin/macosx/universal/contrib/2.8/gtools_2.5.0-1.tgz'
Content type 'application/x-tar' length 85484 bytes (83 Kb)
opened URL
downloaded 83 Kb

trying URL 'http://cran.stat.ucla.edu/bin/macosx/universal/contrib/2.8/gdata_2.4.2.tgz'
Content type 'application/x-tar' length 539301 bytes (526 Kb)
opened URL
downloaded 526 Kb

/bin/sh: line 1: tar: command not found
2009-03-02 20:42:06.081 R[357] tossing reply message sequence 3 on thread 0x1ce3ae0
Error in sprintf(gettext(fmt, domain = domain), ...) : 
  argument is missing, with no default

I can't figure out why this error is occurring [the error in sprintf(gettext(fmt, domain = domain), ...].  I've never been prompted to supply arguments to sprintf before.  Upon trying to install various other packages (e.g. 'vegan', 'ade4', 'ads'...) I get the same error message regarding sprintf.  I recently removed many old data objects from my workspace, could I have accidentally messed with sprintf?

In a previous R-help post a similar error resulted while trying to install a package from source, and was corrected by specifying type="source", but I'm not really sure how to properly specify the argument 'lib' and so leave it as it's default value.  Without specifying 'lib' is it appropriate to call type="source"?

Thanks in advance for any help--
Andy Rominger

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